Sunday 14. August, 2016

Crown Casino Wage Dispute Ready to Erupt

Crown Casino’s wages dispute continues as workers took to the streets on Friday night to protest. Hundreds of gaming and hospitality workers are calling for higher wages for weekend and night work at the largest single-site employer in Victoria.

This was the first public protest in 13 years by Crown employees and comes after months of negotiations with the casino have not resulted in terms they are prepared to accept. The dispute has been going on since April and delegates for the workers recently refused a 2.75 percent wages increase offer.

Staff at Crown Melbourne are paid the same rates regardless of when they work, whether their shift falls over the weekend or the night. Workers are calling for additional pay of up to $3 an hour for shifts that fall between 7pm and 7am or over the weekend.

Crown says they pay higher than award wages across the board, instead of paying penalty rates for overnight or weekend work.

“Crown employees continue to receive higher pay and conditions than the tourism and hospitality industry,” said a spokesman for Crown.

“Negotiations are ongoing and we are constructively working with the union to resolve the agreement in a timely manner.”

Crown employees however, are arguing that higher than award wages do not compensate for overnight and weekend shift work with many workers citing specific examples of family events they have missed out on due to the shift work. Union secretary, Jess Walsh, stated that working at Crown Melbourne requires working around 40 weekends per year and she argued that the casino is not recognising the personal sacrifices made by workers that have contributed to the casino’s $662 million in profits this year.

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